Like a River from Its Course

Kelli Stuart. Kregel, $14.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-8254-4414-2
Four characters find their lives thrown violently off course as the Nazi blitzkrieg of Kiev opens WWII in Ukraine. Ivan's mercy toward his Jewish neighbors causes him to be mistaken for a Jew and herded into a mass execution, which he survives with terrible consequences. When his daughter, Masha, is sent to Germany as a slave, her abusive mistress cannot quench the hope and determination that motivates her to finally escape. Back in Kiev, the young teen Luda is pregnant following a gang rape. She must decide whether she can accept a child fathered by her enemy, and wonders how she could truly love a man after men so grievously harmed her. Finally, Frederick Herrmann is convinced that following the F├╝hrer's destructive vision will bring satisfaction and success. When he realizes the futility of his endeavors, he too is forced to choose between forgiveness and despair. Stuart's debut novel, based on true stories, weaves gritty scenes of war and death with touching moments of grace, hope, and life. Faith questions arise naturally, revealing a realistic view of the Russian culture and landscape of war. Through the darkness, the power of mercy, forgiveness, and love shines brightly. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/09/2016
Release date: 06/01/2016
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